This simple, dairy-free tuna noodle dish is made on the stove top rather than baked. But you can top it with breadcrumbs or crushed potato chips and bake it casserole-style, if preferred. And don’t be afraid to add some more flavors, like onion, garlic, or any vegetables that you have on hand. This is a basic versatile recipe that is ready for your customization! I’ve included a few ideas below.
This Dairy-Free Tuna Noodle is the Epitome of Easy Comfort Food
I originally shared this dairy-free tuna noodle recipe nearly 15 years ago, but it was time for a big update and some new tips! Here are just a few add-in ideas for making this dairy-free tuna noodle recipe your own. I’ve also included a simple baked casserole option below.
- Saute some mushrooms in the buttery spread, or add canned mushrooms with the peas.
- Saute minced garlic or diced onion with the buttery spread.
- Add a little garlic powder or onion powder to the sauce, to taste.
- Steam some broccoli florets or carrots and stir them in with the pasta.
- Stir in some chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil, roasted red bell pepper, or artichoke hearts with the pasta.
- Add chicken instead of tuna. You can use canned chicken, diced cooked chicken breast, or leftover rotisserie chicken.
Purely Pantry Option
If you don’t have buttery spread on hand, you can use oil. The flavor won’t be quite as rich, but you can add a pinch of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and/or onion powder to round out the flavor. And use the canned peas, or other canned vegetables (mushrooms, carrots, etc), instead of fresh or frozen.
Casserole Style Option
Pour the cooked tuna noodle into a 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Toss 1/2 cup of dairy-free bread crumbs with 1 tablespoon melted dairy-free buttery spread. Sprinkle the buttery crumbs over the pasta. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes at 400°F, or until the crumbs are browned.
If preferred, you can use crushed potato chips or fried onions in place of the bread crumbs.
Special Diet Notes: Tuna Noodle Un-Casserole
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, and soy-free.
For vegan “tuna” noodle, you can substitute a vegan canned tuna, but we prefer to just add drained and rinsed canned chickpeas.
- 2 tablespoons dairy-free buttery spread or sticks
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (can use whole wheat or gluten-free all-purpose flour, if needed)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 (6-ounce) can tuna, flaked
- 1½ cups frozen green peas (can sub canned or fresh)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 6 cups cooked pasta, drained but not rinsed (can use gluten-free, if needed)
- Melt the buttery spread in a skillet or pot over medium heat.
- Add the flour and whisk until no lumps remain.
- Add ¼ to ½ cup of the chicken broth and whisk until smooth.
- Slowly whisk in the remaining chicken broth.
- Add the flaked tuna, and bring to a boil while continuing to whisk.
- Once boiling, add the frozen peas, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the sauce reaches your desired thickness, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Whisk in the black pepper. Add the cooked noodles and gently stir until they are well-coated in the sauce.